7 min Read

O/NSO: Reminder edition

By Greg Katz – WeAreSC

The Obvious: A reminder that while the Trojans are taking time out from spring practice to enjoy Spring Break, the Steve Sarkisian Heritage Golf Classic, a fundraiser to benefit USC athletics, will be held on Monday, April 13, at the Coto De Caza (Calif.) Golf & Racquet Club.

The Not So Obvious: The fundraiser will include a day of interaction with the Trojans athletic staff, coaches, former football players, alumni, and fans. There will be a raffle and silent auction of unique memorabilia, a $10,000 helicopter golf ball drop contest, and a special Sam “Bam” Cunningham Tribute. For more information, contact www.usc.edu/trojans or email Gregg Millward ([email protected]) or Mark Tanimura ([email protected]).

The Obvious: Another cool upcoming event, which is a collaboration between USC’s Athletic Department and USC Libraries as part of USC’s annual “Visions and Voices” arts and humanities initiative, is the “Velocity and Vulnerability: Baseball Pitchers and the Limits of Human Performance.”

The Not So Obvious: This event is March 31 at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field. It will feature a conversation with legendary pitching coach Tom House, World Series champ and three-time all-star pitcher Robb Nen, biomechanics professor Jill McNitt-Gray, and orthopedic surgeon Seth Gamradt.

The event is free to the public, but you must RSVP. More information click on the web address below: http://webapp.usc.edu/web/ecal/event/detail/909680?calendar_id=113

The Obvious: Another reminder that The USC Football Coaching Clinic, featuring head coach Steve Sarkisian and his Trojan coaching staff along with several guest head coaches, will be held April 3 and 4 at the John McKay Center on campus.

The Not So Obvious: The two-day clinic will feature presentations by Sarkisian and his staff, as well as offensive and defensive staff roundtable discussions covering philosophy and scheme and in-depth position meetings led by each position coach. Trojans strength and conditioning coach Ivan Lewis also will conduct a presentation on player development and the off-season/in-season training program.

The Obvious: Like most clinics, The USC Football Clinic will feature a number of invited guests to speak.

The Not So Obvious: Guest speakers will include head coaches Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Rocky Long (San Diego State), Matt Wells (Utah State), Tony Sanchez (UNLV) and Butch Goncharoff (Bellevue HS, Washington) The clinic also includes attendance at the USC spring football practice on April 4 on Cromwell Field.

The clinic is open to coaches of all levels, as well as fans who want to learn more about the USC football staff and its coaching philosophy.

The Obvious: Trojans fans are always try to learn and sometimes figure out a Trojans head football coach and his philosophy.

The Not So Obvious: The USC Football Clinic is open to coaches of all levels, as well as fans who want to learn more about the Trojans football staff and its coaching philosophy. Cost of the two-day clinic is $90 ($65 for a single day). The clinic offers a staff discount of $15 off per person for groups of five or more who pre-register together for both days. Sounds like something to attend for all you Trojan Monday Morning Quarterbacks. For more information, you can register on-line at: www.coachsarkcamp.com.

The Obvious: UCLA has suspended offensive line coach Adrian Klemm with pay for alleged and undisclosed NCAA rules violations.

The Not So Obvious: There was a time when the Trojans and Steve Sarkisian were allegedly pursuing Klemm as their offensive line coach. As they say in baseball, “Sometimes the best trades are the ones that are never made.”

The Obvious: The Trojans have offered class of 2016 defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku (6-3, 245), another wonderful prospect from Gardena (Calif.) Serra High.

The Not So Obvious: Having seen this physical specimen in person at the Nike Regional Los Angeles, this is not your normal looking teenager. Betiku is originally from the Washington D.C. area and before that Nigeria and is being sponsored by former Washington Redskins linebacker and NFL Network commentator LaVar Arrington, who is also Betiku’s legal guardian.

The Obvious: LaVar Arrington played his college ball at Penn State (1997-99) under the late Joe Paterno.

The Not So Obvious: For the record, back in 2012 Arrington wrote in the Washington Post that he and Paterno weren’t on the same page. Arrington wrote, “Coach Paterno is a face-value type of guy. It’s well documented that Joe and I weren’t the best of friends — I was never one of his favorites — but he never lied to me. There’s not one time I can recall that Joe Paterno lied to me. Made me mad? Yes. Got under my skin? Yes. Challenged me and pushed me to be more than just a football player? Yes. He never lied to me. As a matter of fact, his sometimes-painful honesty is partly why I’m so blunt in my responses to questions at times.”

The Obvious: The Trojans will return to spring practice for the final three weeks on Tuesday on Cromwell Field.

The Not So Obvious: Since the practice is on Cromwell Field in Loker Stadium, Tuesday’s practice will be open to the public at 3:30 p.m.

The Obvious: The Trojans have offered freshman high school running back T.J. Pledger from local West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade.

The Not So Obvious: Having watched some available video on young Pledger, the O/NSO was impressed, especially for his age. The kid has all the moves, isn’t afraid to stick his nose in the pile, and has some giddy-up in his step. While he is still rather small (5-8, 170), he certainly has time to grow and put on weight.

The Obvious: There is always a good debate when it comes to comparing Texas and California high school football.

The Not So Obvious: If anybody is qualified to make an informed comparison between Texas and California prep football, it’s Trojans sophomore safety John Plattenburg, who played his sophomore and senior season at Lamar High School in Houston, Texas, and his junior season at Centennial High in Corona, California.

The Obvious: Unlike like most that base the old Texas and California High school argument from afar, John Plattenburg is pretty objective when discussing the two powerhouse regions.

The Not So Obvious: Plattenburg told the O/NSO, “Actually, they’re both pretty great. The IE (Inland Empire) the last ten years, they’ve been on the come, especially Corona Centennial. The athleticism is great, the size, of course, of players is pretty big in Texas. Everybody has great athletes, and coming out here (Calif.) a majority of athletes are pretty athletic. I appreciate both of them (areas) for helping me get better.” Sounds like a draw to me.

The Obvious: And finally, The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free-agent and former Trojans linebacker Malcolm Smith after he spent four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and former Trojans head coach Pete Carroll.

The Not So Obvious: Smith will now be reunited with former Trojans linebacker coach Ken Norton, who is the new Raiders defensive coordinator who now works under former Trojans All-America linebacker Jack Del Rio, the first-year head coach of the Silver and Black. Given his college and young pro career, don’t tell Malcolm Smith you’re not a Trojan for life.

Greg Katz

Now entering his 59th season of either writing, broadcasting, or just plain watching USC football, WeAreSC columnist Greg Katz began his affiliation with the website back in 2001, introducing his well-received O/NSO (The Obvious/The Not So Obvious) column and later adding his respected IMHO Sunday opinion and tidbits column. Greg, a former ESPN.com college football columnist covering USC, is also a member of the Football Writer's Association of America. He is also known in Southern California as a professional public address announcer, having called the the 1996 Rose Bowl Game between USC and Northwestern. Greg also holds a master's degree in athletic administration and was a former varsity high school coach of 27 years.

More Articles By Greg